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The Lab /Place/Labour/Capital

NTU CCA Singapore Residency / 

Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks

14 July - 2 August 2015


Unfolding over a period of three weeks is a special project by Artist-in-Residence Erika Tan (Singapore). Focusing on the forgotten historical figure of the Malay weaver Halimah, Tan will attempt to reactivate her through accessing a series of footnotes and instigating a process of collective labour towards the understanding that history is an effort built by many.


Halimah lived and worked with 19 other Malayans in the 1924 Empire Exhibition in London essentially engaging not only in the production of woven material but also symbolically reproducing Britain’s capital (its colonial subjects). During the day Halimah demonstrated her craft and sold products on one side of the Malayan Pavilion and at night lived behind the displays, cooking, eating and performing everyday life.


Tan’s labour in the Lab is a (re)production of Halimah and seeks to liberate Halimah from this textual existence,  re-inserting her into a contemporary dialogue around nation, art and value – or place, labour, capital. The Lab will be used in a triad of layers: as exhibition space, film studio and the site of a live ‘broadcast’ performance-debate on Saturday 25 July, 3-4.30pm.

Performance / Debate / Film Production / Handout

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